I was studying for finals this afternoon at my Third Place when I decided to take a dinner break. As I was backing out of my parking space, another car entered the same row I was parked on. Apparently I was in the way or not moving quickly enough, because the driver began honking at me. When space allowed the car pulled up next me and I was soon getting the proverbial "what for". A few seconds of that, I just rolled my eyes at the very large and angry black woman behind the wheel and started to be on my way.
And that's when it happened.
Evidently my eye-rolling touched a nerve, because when I looked back over, the very large and angry black woman had pulled her very large and angry boobs out of her shirt and flopped them bare nippled out of her open window at me.
Frankly I wasn't quite sure how to take that, but it would seem she was satisfied with my reaction because she hauled them back in and sped away.
Still in shock, I texted my wife, "I just got flashed by a large and angry black woman."
We took the HESI last week, and I just looked at my scoresheet a little while ago. We were told to expect to do much worse than we were used to being a standardized exam and that we were only first semester nursing students. Well, I've done the whole standardized exam thing--a couple of times--so I wasn't stressing. I did nothing to study for it, although many of my classmates spent hours on NCLEX books. It is worth 15% of our course grade and part of our mandatory minimum 70% to move on program. They told us a 750 was minimum passing, 850 was expected and 900 was a score we could expect to pass the NCLEX with.
It was a 55 question test, I missed 2, and scored a 1435.
Thursday was my day to go to the ER for an "off unit experience". It was pretty cool. It always helps when the nurse I'm assigned to actually welcomes my presence. She was very good at her job, and I had a good experience. Our initial patient of the day--right at shift change--had had tonsil surgery the day before as an outpatient procedure. They had bled from their tonsils and throat all night before reporting to the ER (at a completely different hospital from the one where they had the surgery no less.) Patient was in obvious respiratory distress and had sats in the low 60s. O2 through a nasal cannula brought that up to the 70s, but it took a venti mask to make it into the 90s. ER doc couldn't find an ENT doc willing to come behind another surgeon so the patient got transferred back to the original hospital--with much gnashing of teeth.
After that patient, the nurse just handed me the clipboard and sent me in to assess the patients that came in. After I did my interview and assessment I'd report back and she'd help me see what things I did well, and what additional things I might have done.
I saw a wide variety of patients. I saw an 18 y/o drug overdose/wrist slashing suicide attempt. I saw a 9 y/o with an asthma flare-up. I saw a patient with a bowling ball size abdominal tumor--CT showed mets in the liver too. I saw (and helped suture) a full skin/subcutaneous thickness and partial muscle thickness circular saw lac to the forearm. So, no major gunshot traumas or MVC's, and thankfully no chest pain patients, but I think that was probably a good thing. I got to actually participate much more because patients weren't terribly acute. ER might be a fun PRN job on the side at some point.
The last few weeks have been full for me. School is in the end of semester frenzy and I've taken multiple tests and practicals. Most weeks I don't have a day off between school and full time daddy duty. Tests have gone well, and I've come to the conclusion that slow and steady wins the race. As does working hard early in the semester and putting yourself in a position to just cruise. Clinical has been interesting. I did my OR rotation and loved it--I may even consider being a First Assist if I decide not to go to CRNA school. My ICU rotation was equally cool, confirming to me that I can at least make it through the 2 years required for application to CRNA school. I like ICU MUCH better than the floor. My brain just doesn't divide itself 5 or 6 ways as easily as it does 1 or 2. Granted the patients are much higher acuity, but I'm totally cool with that.
The patients have been interesting. I've had a pt with necrotizing fasciitis who has had all the skin, fascia, and subcutaneous fat removed from their leg, ankle to groin. Did a dressing change on that patient where the surgeon tried to make me ill on purpose. Lucky for me I was just able to smirk right back at him even through the anaerobic funk. I've had a 51 yr/old who lives in a nursing home who came in with pneumonia. I was the one who got to tell the patient their lung cancer was no longer in remission and was in fact back with a vengeance. I had a patient who claimed to be a nurse who came in for chest/jaw pain for 10 days duration, but knew exactly what pain medication worked best for this kind of pain. Not surprisingly it was morphine. The same patient yelled at me multiple times telling me I had no common sense at one point. I finally snapped back and exposed the inconsistencies in the patient's story, effectively shutting the them up and sending my preceptor nurse into hysterical laughter. Next week is my final day at clinical for the semester and I get to go play with swine flu patients in the ER.
Mostly though, over the last several weeks I've come to two realizations.
1.) Time with my kids is a gift and I should approach my weekend daddy duty with that attitude instead of the attitude I have been.
2.) I am deeply, desperately in love with my wife. This is why when things aren't going well between us it turns me into a decimated shell of a man. That fact doesn't mean that everything is daisies. But, I don't get to choose whether I love her or not, so better to suck it up and make things work. Again, an attitude thing.
Anyway, I hope a few of you check here occasionally still. I miss interacting with you all on a regular basis. I do get to read your blogs sometimes, but not much commenting. I hope this finds you all well and happy.
The stories found in this blog are purely fictional with a liberal sprinkling of actual events. Similarity to real life is always intended and purely coincidental. All subjects are subject to change at any time. Any and all lawyer's names have been changed to confuse me, the writer, and to protect you, the reader. Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear so look both ways before peeing in the wind. Always hold hands when crossing your "T's" and dotting your eye protection is required. Read at your own risk, filling may be hot.